'Lisa from New York'
Doubt is thought's despair; despair is personality's doubt. . .;
Doubt and despair . . . belong to completely different spheres; different sides of the soul are set in motion. . .
Despair is an expression of the total personality, doubt only of thought. -
"Lisa from New York"
Lisa's Battle with OCD
OCD first intruded into my life when I was a teenager. It began as obsessions with my body, primarily my nose and my weight. I couldn't stand the sight of my nose and I would wear sunglasses (even indoors) to cover up what I thought was a monstrosity of a face.
In my late teens, the obsessions with my appearance were replaced with gay obsessions. I suddenly had this intense fear that I was a lesbian and I questioned whether or not I was attracted to my female friends. These obsessions continued for a short period of time and were followed by a period that I call my "OCD remission."
It wasn't until my early 20's that OCD would rear its ugly head again into my relatively peaceful and happy existence. I am sharing my story because I want others to know that OCD is not just about washing, checking or other rituals. There is another horrific side to this illness, and I want others to know that they are not alone and should not feel shame for thoughts they cannot help. I was 22 when I found out that the man I called "Dad" was not my biological father. I was devastated and the stress from learning this information created a tailspin of intrusive, obsessive thoughts. At this time, I began to have deviant sexual obsessions, such as whether or not I could molest someone. I lived with this obsession for more than 3 years and it kept me from enjoying the people I loved most: children. I would have obsessions such as, "could I touch someone inappropriately?" and "am I a horrible person?" These thoughts I kept to myself because I didn't want anyone to think that I was an evil person. I endured this inner nightmare and sure enough these obsessions were replaced with others.
A few months ago, I had another intrusive thought about my boyfriend. The thought popped into my head as if someone had slammed me with a brick. I had an out-of-the-blue thought of stabbing my boyfriend, which spiraled into more obsessions of hurting others. I finally had had enough of intrusive thoughts and checked myself into the psychiatric unit of the local hospital. I was 26 at the time, and had been grappling with obsessive thoughts on and off for more than 10 years. It was at the hospital that I finally learned that I wasn't losing my mind and that I wasn't alone. OCD/Depression was my diagnosis and I was so relieved to learn that I wasn't some horrible person, rather it was the illness taking over my mind.
And that is why I am telling my story. For those of you reading, please know that you cannot control your obsessive thoughts and they are not a part of your moral character. It is a neurological illness that can be treated with medicine and therapy. Do not feel ashamed; get the help that you deserve and find the happiness in your life that has always been there, just unattainable because of this vicious illness. Take care and best wishes.
I am not a doctor, therapist or professional in the treatment of OCD. This site reflects my experience and my opinions only, unless otherwise stated. I am not responsible for the content of links I may point to or any content or advertising in HealthyPlace.com other then my own.
Always consult a trained mental health professional before making any decision regarding treatment choice or changes in your treatment. Never discontinue treatment or medication without first consulting your physician, clinician or therapist.
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Gluck, S. (2009, January 9). 'Lisa from New York', HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, February 6 from https://www.healthyplace.com/ocd-related-disorders/articles/lisa-from-new-york